The Toronto Maple Leafs have dismissed coach Sheldon Keefe following yet another premature playoff departure

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Sheldon Keefe adessing the media questions

Sheldon Keefe has been removed as the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, let go on Thursday following another early exit from the NHL playoffs.

The decision was anticipated after Toronto’s loss to rival Boston in Game 7 last weekend, marking the fourth time in five years under Keefe that the team has been eliminated in the first round. Since Keefe took over in November 2019, the Maple Leafs have only won one playoff series.

General manager Brad Treliving stated, “Today’s decision was difficult… However, we concluded that a new voice is necessary to help the team break through to achieve our goal.”

In a social media video message, Keefe expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to coach the Maple Leafs, describing it as “a dream come true for a boy from Brampton,” his hometown near Toronto. He also acknowledged that the outcomes did not match his aspirations.

“I didn’t succeed in the playoffs,” Keefe admitted. “I didn’t assist in pushing our team over the line and delivering. I take responsibility for that. No excuses. That’s the job. I didn’t succeed. It’s the reality of the business, and I acknowledge it.”

Sheldon Keefe with team players

Following the 19th coaching change in the league since the end of the 2022-23 season, the team announced that the search for Keefe’s replacement will start right away.

Treliving and other management members are anticipated to speak to reporters on Friday regarding the coaching switch and other end-of-season matters.

Keefe, aged 43, became part of the organization in 2015 as coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, largely due to his connection with then-assistant general manager Kyle Dubas from their junior hockey days. Dubas, who was and served as GM for five seasons before being dismissed last year, fired Mike Babcock and appointed Keefe during the 2019-20 season.

Despite strong regular seasons and playoff appearances under Keefe’s guidance, the team didn’t achieve much beyond that. With a lineup led by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, and John Tavares, the Leafs recorded a 16-21 postseason record.


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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